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New Jersey Monthly Magazine
Towns & Schools
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The Top 20 Towns

Our revised methodology more accurately ranks the top towns in the Garden State.

Posted August 15, 2011

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top towns feature image 2011


Click here to view the corrected full list of Top Towns

For most of us, there’s no place like home. Then again, the market for homes is not what it used to be. Falling home prices, rising taxes and the financial pressures facing most towns have reshaped the nation’s real estate landscape.

Of course, some towns are more susceptible than others to the latest shift. Our 2011 list of New Jersey’s Top Towns reflects that reality—with the state’s most affluent towns dominating the rankings. What’s more, the top-ranked towns in our list are generally in northern counties such as Bergen, Morris and Somerset, where much of the state’s wealth is concentrated. Conversely, the rural and southern counties—hard hit by job losses and foreclosures—fare poorly.

Michael Greenberg, a professor at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers, who served as an advisor for this year’s rankings, says the results “correspond closely to the distribution of wealth to the advantaged and less advantaged—and the resources and services that go along with that.”

This year’s survey was conducted by Leflein Associates, a Ringwood-based research company; click here to view the methodology. Note that we have made some methodology changes that significantly affect the results. Several factors have been dropped since the 2010 rankings (population change; open space; joblessness), and we no longer rank towns with populations below 1,500, since it is difficult to get statistically significant data on small municipalities.

CORRECTION: The main list of Top Towns and the breakout rankings listed below have been revised to reflect a correction in the calculations for Home Values. In the original rankings, for certain towns, we inadvertently used 2011 data to determine the median property tax bill, instead of 2010 data. This made a significant difference for towns that underwent a reassessment between 2010 and 2011.

Click on the links below to view the corresponding Top Towns information:

The Top 20 Towns in New Jersey

The #1 Town: Ho-Ho-Kus

Top Towns by Region

Top Towns by Population

Most Affluent Towns

Best Bang for the Buck

Fastest Rising Home Prices

Real Estate: The New Reality


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If you like this article please share it.


I read this article. Why noy just say the most expensive are the best.

Posted by: MICHAEL MCHENRY, WASHINGTON | Aug 25, 2011 19:53:43 PM |

Ho-Ho-Kus and Irene

We are so proud to be the top town in NJ.
Thought you might enjoy this short video (1 min 30 sec) that my daughter put together on Irene and Ho-Ho-Kus being named the best place to live. Alexandra is currently a senior at Northern Highlands Regional School and looking to pursue an education in film making.
(Please copy and paste to browser)

Please let me know if you need an additional information.

Thank you

Caryn Schulsinger

Posted by: Caryn Schulsinger, Ho-Ho-Kus | Aug 30, 2011 22:58:24 PM |


This is biased. The main focus is North Jersey and South Jersey is really factored in. I want to split from nothern NJ. I no longer want to be affiliated to their stuck up, biased and expensive ways.

Posted by: Haydar, Delran | Sep 04, 2011 17:15:06 PM |


Finally a top 20 list that makes sense. Always felt the list plugged in average towns to make it seem more diverse. Nice to see a great town like Westfield finally crack the top 20.

Posted by: Frank Hubbard, Hoboken | Sep 07, 2011 18:04:46 PM |

BIASED...for Sure

As someone who grew up in Mercer County, worked for many a year in "North Jersey" and now resides in "South Jersey," I must say, this Magazine should be re named "North Jersey Monthly." As a real estate professional, this list is simply absurd. For both Moorestown and Haddonfield not to be included in the top ten is outrageous. Mind you, "Money" Magazine ranked Moorestown the NUMBER ONE town in AMERICA in 2005...yet not even in the top 10% on this state list. Please. Maybe spend a full day or two in Moorestown and Haddonfield, then pass judgement. Let’s not forget Princeton.
Chesterfield and Moorestown are the only two "South Jersey" towns in the top 100. Insane. Take this whole thing with a grain of salt.

Posted by: Vincent Tripicchio, Moorestown | Sep 14, 2011 00:56:54 AM |


Being from South Jersey, I can appreciate the reactions about lack of represenation. But I grew up in North Jersey and frankly the mehtodology they use, right or wrong, favor wealthier towns, and most NJ wealth resides in North Jersey.

Good list.

Posted by: John Lackey, Allentown | Sep 14, 2011 16:50:38 PM |

So which are the best???

For all you residents or former residents that disagree with the article WHICh DO YOU THINK ARE THE BEST IN YOUR OPINION ???

Posted by: Dany, Brooklyn, NY | Sep 06, 2012 10:56:28 AM |

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